Goa, Mar 4:
Two youth were injured in police firing, while police officers and Muslim families were also assaulted by agitators on Saturday, amidst renewed violent clashes in Curchorem and Sanvordem for the second day. Unprecedented attacks on the Muslim community led to destruction of shops, houses and vehicles in the twin towns. Violence erupted in Curchorem for the second day, when police arrested 160 persons who gathered at Tisk-Sanvordem in defiance of Section 144 imposed in Curchorem and Sanvordem since Friday night.
Angered by the arrests, a mob rushed to the Curchorem police station in the morning and the place soon turned into a battlefield.
The mob began pelting stones at the police force who in turn resorted to a lathi-charge, besides firing rounds of bullets and tear gas in the air, in a bid to disperse the mob.
The pitched battle continued for about an hour leaving three police officers seriously injured and other police personnel with minor injuries.Several four-wheelers, including the car of Sanvordem MLA Vinay Tendulkar and a fire brigade, which were parked in the area, were damaged due to the stone-pelting incident.
The protestors then converged in the Curchorem market at about 11 am, where they assembled near the Razaq petrol pump, which had been damaged on Friday evening. The agitators broke the windowpanes of the petrol pump, prompting police to lathi-charge the mob and later firing tear gas and several rounds in the air.
At about 12.30 pm, the protestors went on a looting spree, targeting shops of the Muslim traders. A car was set ablaze, while goods from a shop were also consigned to flames. Fire fighters, however, rushed to the site and extinguished the flames from spreading to nearby shops.
Two youth, Manoj Naik and Basavraj Naik , received bullet wounds, when a police officer opened fire in defence, to prevent a mob from advancing towards him in the market. This incited the mob who assaulted PI Gundu Naik and PSI Devendra Gaad, seriously. While Manoj was later rushed to the GMC hospital at Bambolim with abdominal wounds, Basavraj sustained injuries to his arm and was admitted to the Hospicio at Margao. PSI Gaad was also moved to the Hospicio.
Besides destroying shops and vehicles owned by the Muslim community, protestors went ahead and attacked the homes of Muslims in Pontemol, Bansai, Cariamoddi and Curchorem. Anticipating further violence, several Muslim families fled from Curchorem and Sanvordem and sought shelter in other parts of the State. Meanwhile, the accused who were arrested on Saturday morning were later released.
Doctors operating on the two youth at about 9 pm, removed three bullets from Manoj Naik and a single bullet from Basavraj Naik. Meanwhile, Deputy Inspector General of Police Ujjwal Mishra on Saturday said the Central Rapid Action Force (RAF) has been called in to assist the police in maintaining law and order. Informing that the RAF companies (or platoons) would be in Goa by tomorrow morning, Mishra said the situation in the towns had turned from bad to worse and many of the Muslims had fled to other parts of the State fearing for their lives.